If you have an interest in or have used Google hardware products, you are probably no stranger to the Google Store. This is an “online supermarket” where Google sells its hardware products as well as subscribers to its services. It sounds boring and nothing special, but it has an interesting history.
The forerunner of the Google Store was a small tab
Google’s first “online store” is the Android market. This store only exists on Android devices and it is the place to sell apps and games for the operating system platform. Over time, Google has gradually added various items to the Android Market, which will require rebranding to a more universal “Google Play”.
You can find a myriad of different types of digital goods on the Google Play Store. Not only software, this is also where Google opens the sale of phones and tablets developed by the company (such as Nexus, Pixel), and other hardware products like Chromecast and Chromebooks. All of these hardware products are listed under the “Devices” tab on the Google Play Store.
However, Google’s rapid growth and increasing investments in hardware have made the need to launch a separate store platform even more necessary. Therefore, Google decided to separate the “Devices” tab from the Play Store and build it into the Google Store it is today.
It can be said that the rise of hardware products “made by Google” has made a very important contribution to the development and expansion of the Google Store that we know today.
“Made by Google”
The first hardware device entirely developed by Google itself is the Nexus Q media device in 2012. At this point, the only hardware product sold on the Play Store is also the Nexus device, due to the Google produced.
The Nexus Q ultimately failed, but laid a solid foundation for the launch of the Chromecast in 2013 – a huge success to this day. That was just the beginning of Google’s interest in developing its own hardware products and acquiring related companies.
It officially launched in March 2015. At that time, Google was only limited development of hardware devices. However, the launch this product is a major platform step forward.
The following year, Google introduced the first Pixel phone and the first generation Google Home smart speaker – officially kicking off its “Made by Google” initiative. Since then, dozens of products have been released in this store. Right now, this is where you can find Pixel phones, Nest smart devices, Chromecast, Chromebooks, and accessories.
What can you buy in the Google Store?
Google distributes digital products (software) on the Play Store, while hardware products belong to it. As mentioned, hardware devices available on this store include Pixel phones, Chromebooks, Chromecast, Nest devices, and some products from Google partners.
Of course, the Google Store isn’t the only place to buy Google hardware. Many of its products can be purchased at retailers around the world. However, if you buy a Google product from the itself, you’ll usually get better after-sales service and customer support.
The equivalent of it is the Apple Store. On both of these online hardware stores, you can still find some products from third parties, but the majority of the items belong to the platform owner.
Unlike the Apple Store, the GG Store is just an online one-stop shop. There are absolutely no Google Store stores on the streets or shopping malls. But this could completely change in the future, as Google’s hardware segment grows stronger.
Notably, besides hardware products, you can also purchase subscriptions to service on this store. Subscriptions to services like Google One, Stadia Pro, and YouTube Premium can be purchased, for example. These are the subscriptions that are typically included with the hardware products.